EasyJet raises forecasts as mild winter cuts plane de-icing costs

 
Marion Dakers
A MILD winter has helped EasyJet beat forecasts, as the airline spent less than expected on de-icing its planes.

The budget carrier said revenues per seat in the six months to the end of March rose by around 1.5 per cent, helped by the popularity of its new reserved seating as well as longer routes.

EasyJet had said in January that revenues were set to be “very slightly up” in the half-year.

Costs rose 0.5 per cent, lower than previously expected, thanks to less weather disruption and an ongoing savings drive throughout the firm.

As a result, EasyJet now expects to lose between £55m and £65m in the first half of its financial year, down from previous guidance of losses between £70m and £90m and compared to a £61m loss in the same period a year ago. Many airlines lose money during the winter but make it up during the summer holidays.

“This better performance is impressive, in our view, particularly as Easter falls later this year, reducing revenues in this first half period by probably £25m on our estimates,” said Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Robin Byde in a note to clients.

Shares in EasyJet rose 3.7 per cent to 1,692p yesterday.